depressionBy Jani Ruotsalainen, Jos Verbeek and Thais C. Morata

Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) professionals have to make many decisions on a daily basis. These decisions can involve risk assessment methods, preventive workplace measures, workers’ health surveillance or even rehabilitation or return-to-work practices. According to the principles of evidence based practice, such decisions should be guided by high-quality scientific knowledge (van Dijk et al., 2010) such as provided by systematic reviews of the literature. The Cochrane Collaboration is internationally recognized as the leader in producing high quality systematic reviews about the effectiveness of health interventions. The Cochrane Collaboration is a not-for-profit organization with collaborators from over 120 countries working to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. Cochrane systematic reviews try to help with the decision-making process by synthesizing the results of multiple studies and finding out, for example, what are the best ways to protect workers against health risks and dangers that exist in the workplace. Cochrane systematic reviews seek answers to the most basic question: “does this intervention work?”

At this point it is worth noting that NIOSH holds a seat on the advisory and editorial boards of the Cochrane Occupational Safety and Health Review Group. This group is one of the many entities that make up the Cochrane Collaboration. For more information on OSH Reviews in particular, subscribe to the group’s bi-monthly Newsletter or follow their individual Twitter feeds (@OSHdoc and @jhruotsalainen) or group (@CochraneOSH). The Review group welcomes your input, whether it be by suggesting topics or authors for a review, using the reviews to guide various health and safety decisions, or by championing evidence-based occupational safety and health practice in general.

Today we would like to highlight a recently updated Cochrane Review on preventing occupational stress in healthcare workers (Ruotsalainen et al., 2014). This review evaluated how well person-directed or organizational interventions prevent stress or burnout in healthcare workers. The authors included 58 studies with altogether 7188 participants. The person-directed interventions included cognitive-behavioral training and mental and physical relaxation that varied from music-making to massage. The organizational changes aimed at increasing social support or changing stressful work-methods or work schedules.

The person-directed interventions, in general...Click here to read the rest of the blog post.